Rob Lanier’s Panthers down but not out

Georgia State men’s Basketball head coach Rob Lanier's core values for his program are humility, respect, and responsibility. Photo Submitted by GSU Athletics

So, you’re telling me there’s a chance. 

Amid a “down” season for the Georgia State Men’s Basketball team, all their goals are still in play as the calendar flips to February. 

A litany of issues plagued the team early in the campaign as they dealt with game cancellations due to COVID-19 and their injuries and streaky play.

One of the critical early injuries of the year happened to the senior forward, Eliel Nsoseme. 

Nsoseme brings energy and leadership that substantially benefits the team on and off the court. 

Five months removed from that injury, Nsoseme has begun to heat up recently in his return, providing double-doubles in the last two wins for Georgia State as they have improved to an 8-9 record and 2-4 Sun Belt record.

The road back was anything but easy for Nsoseme, though, as he discusses what kept him going through that tough time.

It was really tough for me not to be able to be on the court with my brothers, but I know that it was a matter of time,” Nsoseme said. “I went through a lot the past five months, and the support of all my teammates and coaches kept me going.”

“I didn’t want to go out like that for my last season, so I did my best in rehab like I will do it in the game. Also, I had my sister see me after six years, and that was the boost I needed.”

“She reminds me why I do this. [The] most important thing [is to] never forget where you came from and all the sacrifices made along the way.”

 With Nsoseme back, the spotlight has been on seniors Corey Allen, Kane Williams and Justin Roberts. However, people may forget that there is more substance to the team than they think.

One of those underclassmen would be the Freshman Forward Ja’Heim Hudson. Hudson has seen action in 15 games this season and has impressed at least one of his elders in Nsoseme.

“Everyone brings something to the table, and that is what I love about this team. Without a doubt, I will say Ja’Heim Hudson is a dog, and he is not scared to put his nose in the fight. He is a really good kid that wants to learn from the old guy, and we can see it on the court.” 

“Also, one of my favorites is Jamall Clyce. He reminds me of my young self and the hard work that he puts in every day. The scary thing is I can talk about all the non-seniors and what they bring because we have a great team.”

 With the young guys growing into their roles, the seniors fighting hard in their last season, Georgia State has a chance to make a strong push down the stretch and assert themselves during conference play. 

The team will play five of the next eight games at the GSU Sports Arena, so the Panthers look to be hitting their stride and will have the support of the home crowd to try and finish strong.